John Hawkinson <firstname.lastname@example.org>'s web page
I am a person of many hats, and depending on where and how
you catch me, I may be wearing quite a few of them :-).
As of Fall 2005, I've returned to MIT and am currently an undergraduate.
Cambridge, MA 02139-7103
+1 617 797 0250
If you're referring to me in electronic writing, please spell jhawk
in all lowercase. In the unlikely event you're referring to one of my VMS
accounts, it's ok to use all caps, much as it pains me. If you want
to write out my full name (John Hawkinson), feel free to do so in whatever
capitalization you feel is reasonable.
If you're addressing me in person, you can call me either "jhawk" or "John".
I merely ask that you NOT call me "Jay". Note that I may
respond differently based on what you call me, and depending on context.
Oddly enough, I tend to to be more technically oriented and computeresque
if called "jhawk" (this should not be surprising).
25 April 2004: The Managing Board of The Tech today
voted to remove me from my position of Ombudsman, effective today.
information on newspaper ombudsman, please see The Organization of News
Not-quite recent columns include:
Of course they are many and varied, but the less-than-considerate of
you might say that they fit into some rather narrow and specific
categories. You might remember that this list is (in some ways by
- I'm a member of MIT's
Information Processing Board. Aside from
spending a fair amount of time in the SIPB office, I
help maintain some SIPB servers (you might be
familiar with some, like bloom-picayune.mit.edu,
or anxiety-closet.mit.edu). SIPB servers and
office machines are named after Bloom County characters,
in case you were wondering (I'm not a BC fan, though).
- Network stuff
- You might be able to tell this from my job. I enjoy
working with network protocols, taking them apart,
managing routers and routing protocols, and things
of that nature. That means I tend to be the first one
on my block to go build
or do traceroutes and look at network topology (Why
are you seeing packet loss?). Lately I find myself paying
too much attention to what the folks at
NLANR are doing, so maybe
you should too? I'm involved in the
IETF (Internet Engineering
- Isn't this like "Network Stuff"? I'm interested in IP multicast
and the MBONE (but not because of some interest in multimedia
or anything), and more from a network protocol standpoint. I do
MBONE stuff for BBN, f'rinstance.
- Both computer security (and "network security", whatever
that is) and physical security are included here. It means I like
to think I have a healthy paranoia, and try to understand
problems instead of just fixing them. I think firewalls are a
stupid idea (because they don't solve the real problem), and
am frequent Kerberos user. Of late, I've been fairly lax
about reading Usenet (which is a reasonably good source for
information (apply Sturgeon's Law)).
I also do things like pick locks (not an inherently illegal
activity) and hacking
(not the computer kind--of course I do that too)...
- Unix stuff
- Insert random drivel here. Write and hack on programs,
on random software that doesn't come with source, etc., etc.
- Science Fiction
- Yes, I'm a science fiction fan (like lot of people around
here). That means I'm involved in the
MIT Science Fiction Society,
I attend SF conventions (though I've been a bit busy, lately),
and have been on the convention committee for
Lunacon. I've been meaning
to get more involved in
NESFA (The New England Science Fiction Association), but things
have kind of slipped.
- I do read more than just science fiction :-). Though
perhaps not as much variety as might be desirable. In mid-1999
I started keep a list
of books read and to-be-read. It is mostly accurate.
- I project 35mm movies for the
MIT Lecture Series Committe. You should consider trying it :-)
I always take out lab splices whenever I see them.
You should complain if your Projectionist doesn't do so.
- Sure, why not? In high school I was on an Ultimate team, and since then
I haven't kept up. Nevertheless, you should be able to convince me
to play a game if I'm around...
I do play on Friday afternoons at 5:30 at MIT's Killian Court
with the Diskless group.
- Babylon 5
- Yes, I admit it, a TV show. The only one I watch (let's keep
it that way). Arguably the best piece of science fiction
television in production. Anyhow, some people maintain
web page that's halfway interesting.
- NetBSD is a free 44BSD-derived
operating system. I've put in a significant bit of time working
on the SIPB's NetBSD support -- answering questions, developing
installations, fixing bugs, etc., etc.
- $2 Bills
- On occasion, I run around handing out (well, selling at face value)
$2 bills. They're fun to spend, but you mustn't hoard them. Here's
a face and a back.
- I'm involved with the MIT Radio Society (W1MX) and the MIT UHF
Repeater Assocation (W1XM). I have Technician-class amateur radio
KB1CGZ). In the summer of 1999 I did some
work to produce postscript grid-square maps.
The theory here is that I might list a few projects (trivial or
significant) I was working on here that I felt like promulgating to
the Internet community. Or perhaps things I'd just like to be listed
in search engines.
If you happen to find any of these tools especially useful, I'd appreciate
your letting me know.
At the moment, that includes:
DTS trailer disc software
- Some scripts for building trailer CDs for use with Digital
Theatre Systems (DTS) systems of 35mm film sound. DTS ships discs
that contain all the trailers for a given period of time (~1.5 months),
however there is no mechanism for showing two trailers together
that are on different trailer discs. These scripts allow you to pull trailers
off of multiple discs and recombine them onto a new disc -- obviously this
requires the use of a CD burner. If you find this useful please let me know.
Disk exercising software
- Some software for exercising and testing new disks. It doesn't have
a good name yet (I'm certainly open to one; its been tentatively called
both testdisk and jhawkdisk). It runs (at least) under IRIX
- Ethernet configuration testing protocol
- CTP is a part of the original Ethernet specification that doesn't
appear in IEEE 802.*, or any other specification I can find on-line. It's
basically a layer two "ping" equivalent. It would be useful if more
people and operating systems implemented it.
- Grid Square maps
- See Radio under Interests. Postscript maps of the US with grid squares
and their boundaries marked.
- Kerberos ticket-handling alias survey
- I did a brief survey of shell aliases for handling multiple sets of
Kerberos tickets in the MIT Athena environment.
- SMPTE papers
- Papers issued by SMPTE; scanned for use by fellow projectionists.
- Software for NetBSD for use on mobile hosts to determine what network
they are on and configure an ip address, in the absence of dhcp.
- Work in progress: A postscript file to dump a postscript dictionary
recursively. Seems to work better than most of the other software out there
I could find to do this. Why hasn't someone written one of these before,
- A shell-script for forcing partitions to unmount under Solaris 2.6,
even if they have open files. Use at your own risk. Potentially useful
if you're seeing an afs 3.5 bug where vice partitions never unmount
due to kernel/afs module bookkeeping issues.
- A script for converting a tcpdump ICMP trace into an xplot file.
- Work in progress: A postscript file to generate head and tail
labels for 35mm movie prints, suitable for use when handchecking a
release print. Still experimenting, but seems to work.
- A script for comparing two instantiations of output containing numbers
and subtracting the numbers; suitable for comparing the output of "netstat -s"
to itself a few seconds later, or "show interface" from a cisco router, etc.
It seemed that keeping track of questions asked might be a clever
sort of organization. So a list was born.
Some links I would like search engines to index...
An online version of DHL's rate-schedule
for MIT, access-limited to MIT only.
Some information about knives in Massachusetts.
If it's timely, try me at +1 617-797-0250.
If you're lucky, I'll read my email :-) (frequently). Depending
on what you want, you could send it to
Actually, the panix address has gone unread for what is, as of late 1999,
"a really long time". This needs to be addressed, but sending mail there
is likely to be completely ineffective.
You might try to find me online. If I'm at work or at MIT, I'm
generally findable with Athena's messaging service,
To see if I'm around, you can
If I'm present you could send me a message with
If you have an amateur radio license and are in the greater-Boston area,
you can try reaching me on the W1XM/R repeater, 449.725 MHz(-), with a
PL tone of 114.8 Hz.
This is canonically accessible via AFS. If you have
AFS access, you can use
The same is offered into HTTP by
web.mit.edu. (The SIPB and MIT Information Systems
Last modified on $Date: 2006/10/27 23:43:25 $ (UTC) by $Author: jhawk $.